Donald Trump’s shocking win in the US election is a victory for the democratic process and a catastrophe for the human race.
As Brexit showed, having a vote offers a unique opportunity for the middle-mass of common men and women to express a collective ‘fuck you’ to the establishment. In so doing, they make a mockery of media pundits, self-appointed experts and pollsters.
The gospel according to The Clash in ‘Know Your Rights‘ reads : “You have the right to free speech as long as you’re not dumb enough to actually try it”. With the option to have your voice heard being notoriously limited, the ballot box can be used as a weapon – one of the few ways in which the ordinary citizen can ‘speak’ his or her mind.
To say ‘every vote counts’ may be a cliché but it is also a genuinely empowering message when you are accustomed to being ignored.
Unlike the “All are equal before the law” bullshit of the legal system, elections and referendums are truly great levelers to the extent that all votes are cast and counted equally irrespective of class, race, gender or income.
In the ugly presidential campaign, Trump successfully portrayed himself as an outsider. His numerous gaffes and deliberate provocations could therefore be portrayed as examples of authenticity.
His largely unscripted speeches were deliberately pitched to be conversational in tone. As a brash demagogue he succeeded in giving the impression that he wanted to be on the same level as his audience rather than addressing them from a privileged position.
Bizarrely, his rudeness and ignorance were regarded by gullible supporters as signifiers of integrity. Similarly his braggadocio effectively presented moderation and modesty as weaknesses.
The misogyny, racism and jingoistic nationalism all served to mock liberal values and strongly appealed to fellow misogynists, racists and nationalists of which there are plenty.
How this morally bereft Republican platform now translates into power is a prospect few expected and all have every reason to fear.